Icon Akimov 102.211 «The Lord Almighty. Two prayers»
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"The majority of present images of Christ are iconographically descended from the most ancient one – the image of the Saviour of (Mount) Sinai. It is the oldest icon of the Lord, which reached us, and is now kept in St. Catherine's Monastery of Mount Sinai. It is painted in the hot wax painting technique in the 6th century, and now from it we can know Christ’s appearance in His lifetime.
The image of Christ on this small icon is iconographically related to that one. The Lord is represented in the same way as on the ancient icon: half-length; full face, with His right hand in blessing gesture, His left hand holding a book. The image sense is simple and deeply symbolical at the same time. That is the image of God faced to the world, open to the people for whom He accepted the death on the cross; descended to hell for overcoming death and clearing the way to the kingdom of God. In the Lord’s face we see the omniscient wisdom and tacit appeal for love: “All those who have hardships and burden come to Me….” His flying garment, and His right blessing hand slightly advanced emphasize His move towards a looker.
A book in the left hand of the Lord is one of the most multisymbolized in Christianity. It symbolizes of both New Testament – an agreement between God and human beings based on the commandment for self-sacrificial love – and the created world that in the Bible is likened to a book. At the same time it is the Domesday Book where all good and evil works of human beings are written down; as well as the apocalyptic Book of Life with the names of those who was saved. The image of Christ with a book is called “the Almighty” or “the All Ruler” because He rules the world holding it in His hand; both the present world, and that of the future.
On the reverse of the small icon we see peacocks drinking from a vined bowl. That is a very old – since the early Christians – symbol of the Eucharist, i.e. of the mystical Holy Communion with God. In the Primitive Church the peacocks symbolized immortality, since their flesh had been believed to remain undecomposed. A wine vessel symbolizes the liturgical Bowl in which bread and wine are given to believers as the body and blood of Christ during the Liturgy. When receiving the Sacrament a person partakes of Christ Himself and gains in Him the eternal life. The vine symbolizes believers’ unity with Christ: in the Gospel According to St. John Christ in figuratively called a real vine, his followers being name branches (Jhn.15). Therefore the vine also symbolizes the Church, believers who gathered together in Christ’s name, as well as any union in God.
During the Holy Matrimony mystery a bride and bridegroom are to have a drink from the bowl together in token of their mystical union in love to Christ to the end of time. Therefore this small icon together with its twin image of the Kazan icon of the Mother of God (code No. 102.210) is usable as a wedding icon.
“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord” – is written around the image of Christ on the icon obverse. The reverse has the words of pleading prayer that solicits the Lord for the grace and help in one’s life: “Let the grace of Thy be on us, since we trust in Thee”."
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